‘Sugar Man’, Alive And Well At Boston’s Orpheum Theatre
He has been playing to ever-increasing audience sizes, so instead of seeing him at an intimate venue such as Johnny D’s where he played 18 months ago, I saw him at the Orpheum Theatre which is not huge but is not intimate either.
I presume most of my readers are aware of Rodriguez’s story; that he released two well-received albums in 1970 and 1971 but never became a star in the United States. He was a huge star in South Africa, however; from what my South African friend has told me, everyone he knew had both albums. It took the release of the film in 2012 for most Americans to discover Rodriguez.
Last night Rodriguez played to a nearly sold-out crowd which was extremely appreciative of him. Unfortunately, my sense is that there were many people in the audience who don’t go out to hear live music often; there were continuous cat calls of ‘I love you Rodriguez’ which clearly became annoying to him (I was sitting in the third row and could see every pained expression on his face).
Rodriguez sounds great; his voice is still strong and his guitar work is as it was 40+ years ago. He is blind, or nearly blind, but that does not appear to have impacted his music in the least.
He has an excellent band with him; I was unable to understand their names, however, so I can only refer to them by their instruments. The guitarist was excellent; a true rock guitar sound. The drummer was good as was the bass player, who is from the Boston area.
The lyrics are obviously reminiscent of the politics and economics of the late 1960s, and I can relate to them well. One of the things I particularly enjoy about Rodriguez is that his lyrics are as relevant today as they were then. They played songs from each album, including ‘Sugar Man’, as well as a few cover songs (notably, ‘Blue Suede Shoes’).
Opening for Rodriguez was a singer-songwriter named Cory Becker.
Cory played a short set which the audience liked a lot. He played solo acoustic guitar and has a lovely voice. I enjoyed his songs and would like to hear more of him; I overheard him telling a new fan that he’s working on his first album.
I am glad I finally saw Rodriguez perform. It was a fine evening of music. I wish my photos were better, but between the lighting (very low) and the wearing of hats, it was not to be.
Posted on May 10, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged boston, concert review, Cory Booker, Looking for Sugar Man, music, Orpheum Theatre, Rodriguez, Sixto Rodriguez, Sugar Man. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.